In winter, much happens out of sight. Magic is uncurling beneath piles of frost-blackened leaves, beneath the glistening canvas of snow. In dormant hives, bees cluster around the queen, warming her w/ their own bodies. And in burrows, sleepy rabbits, foxes, & moles prepare for spring births.
I’ve always loved winter. It seems to me to brim with infinite possibility, while still affording the peace to dream of each one. It’s curling up in a chair beneath a warm fleecy throw, w/ a book on the octopus. It’s making hot chocolate w/ prime chocolate, and adding a few more marshmallows (because there really is no such thing as too many!). It’s the certainty that you are warm, cosy, & safe.
Even though so many aren’t. And that’s the knife-edge of privilege.
Warmth is one of the most basic of privileges, in the winter. My elder son, DIL, & grandson are in the middle of the East Coast snow dump, more than a foot of snow expected (maybe two!). But their house is a remodel, w/ great heat. So I don’t have to worry, like I would if they were off in the Big Woods, or on the icy prairie a century ago. Modern conveniences (mod cons, as the Brits say) offer heat, hot water, and light. It’s only when those disappear that we talk about ‘disasters.’
Our everyday American life is a LOT to be thankful for. And something I rarely take for granted, after living in countries where electricity, water, and basic supplies (toilet paper!) sometimes disappeared for days on end.
Beneath the the surface of my winter — safely cocooned in the comfort of gas heat & electric light — I’m free to plan gardens that will bloom come summer. Free to dream of the ocean when it warms up. Free not to worry about my sons, each to his own battered coastline, struggling w/ the contretemps of blizzards & icy storms.
Let’s hear it for ordinary privilege: heat, light, refrigeration, and clean laundry. All those things we need before we can go back to musing…